Dr Burnett alongside debate winners: Rebecca Richardson and Lucy Steenson
Dr Burnett presenting the salver for Best Individual Speaker, to a student from
Royal and Prior Raphoe
The 1608 Debate is an annual debating competition held between the five Royal Schools within the Ulster province; Royal School Dungannon, Royal School Armagh, Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, Royal and Prior Raphoe and Royal School Cavan. This year the competition was hosted by RSD on the 17th of November. RSD presented two strong teams to take part in the competition; Aaron Graham (Year 14) and Matthew Scott (Year 13), along with Lucy Steenson (Year 14) and Rebecca Richardson (Year 13).
Throughout the entirety of the first round many topical issues were discussed; Trident, Northern Ireland in a Post-Brexit world, Privatised Healthcare and war in Syria. Both RSD teams successfully made it through the first round, earning them both a place in the semi-final. The legalisation of marijuana and potential restrictions on Welfare benefits were debated in the semi-finals. RSD teams came out on top in both, resulting in an all-RSD final.
The final debate was ‘Social Media does more harm than good’, with Lucy and Rebecca proposing the motion, and Aaron and Matthew opposing the motion. Despite having limited time to prepare for their final debate both teams presented coherent and compelling cases, leaving the final extremely close. However, after some deliberation, Lucy Steenson and Rebecca Richardson were announced the winning side. This was a very impressive performance from both RSD teams.